Postmarks & cancellations

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1. Postmarks & cancellations

Postmarks are marks on a letter with the date the letter was posted. The first postmark was long before the first stamp. In 1661, Henry Bishop introduced a mark to show the date the letter was received by the post. They are called ‘Bishop marks’ and only showed the month and the day.

Some modern postmarks are very decorative, especially if they are to celebrate a special event.

[Extracted from the British Postal Society Special Event Postmarks of the United Kingdom Volumes 1- 5 1851-2013]

Next page you'll find out about cancellations